The Government of Guatemala urged the World Health Organization (WHO) and the international community on Saturday to include Taiwan in the fight against the “threat” of the “epidemic” of the coronavirus, originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The Foreign Ministry of the Central American country said that Taiwan and other actors should “contribute to the fight against the threat of this new epidemic and other diseases that threaten the life and well-being of human beings.”
In a press release, the Guatemalan Foreign Ministry asked the international community, multilateral organizations and “especially WHO” to allow “spaces where countries such as the Republic of China and other actors” join in fighting the virus that has claimed 259 lives and has infected 11,791 people in Chinese territory, according to the Government of that country.
The health crisis “does not recognize borders, so it requires that all countries join forces in strengthening health, alert, control and prevention systems.”
Guatemala and Taiwan maintain close relations and last September the former Guatemalan president Jimmy Morales requested the entry of that territory into the United Nations Organization.
Taiwan, considered a rebel province by China, has 17 diplomatic allies, four of them Spanish-speaking, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Paraguay.
Two days after WHO declared the international emergency in the face of the rapid increase in affected patients, some countries such as the US They have ignored the advice of the highest health authority that asked the international community not to close the doors to China but to lend a hand.
The president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, announced the entry into force this Friday of a health alert at the main points of entry into the country to prohibit the entry of people who visited China in the last 15 days.
The Donald Trump government announced Friday that it will temporarily prohibit the entry into the country of foreigners who have visited China in the last 14 days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
According to official data from China, the number of patients in serious condition was 1,795, while a total of 243 people have already overcome the disease and have been discharged from hospitals in several provinces.
The so-called Wuhan pneumonia recalls the crisis that caused almost two decades ago the Serious Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus (SARS), genetically similar to this new coronavirus and that left more than 600 dead in China.